(1) Share the Story & Need for International Missions
Jesus told his disciples "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field" (Luke 10:2). The need for international missions and the vital role outreaches play to alleviate spiritual and physical poverty is never ending. Jesus acknowledged that "the poor you will always have with you"......the mission field is always present and often right outside our very doors. In a world filled with busy schedules and media feeds overwhelmed with news of social collapse it is easy to become numb to the reality of the world around us. The truth is that for every statistic and image that flashes across our computer monitors, each represents a real person.......with real needs. It is easy to forget and even easier to ignore, but it is important to truly see the need that exists & respond in practical ways.
When we begin to see the need around us we can use our collective voices to sound the alarm and rally individuals just like yourself to come along side those in need sharing the Love of Christ in tangible ways. Though the need around us may never quite go away, we can enter into authentic relationships with those in need, shaping not only the way they see their lives but most importantly the way they see God.
(2) Add a specific Giving Category in your budget to International Missions
A common excuse limiting a person's generosity is that they "don't have enough to make ends meet".....or "what I have to give is so little, what difference could it possibly make?" The reality of our wealth and privilege (Especially In the United States) is staggering when compared to the vast majority of individuals and families in the developing world. According to the World Bank, in 2012 there were 900 Million people living at or under $1.90 per day. It was estimated that 700 Million live in what is considered "Extreme Poverty" (a condition characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information).
The vast majority of people in the US could creatively budget their expenses to "free up" funds to make real and lasting impact in the world. Consider this......A single Starbucks Latte costs $3.65 (before tax). That translates to 1 1/2 days of income for the average person living at or below the poverty line. Limiting your coffee habit to an every other day habit would free up $54+ dollars a month.....more if you have a Starbucks addiction! That simple adjustment in expenses would be equal to a month of income for someone living in poverty. With a bit more creativity, even more money can be "found" each month. The result could change a life for someone in need. While it may not seem like much, for the single life you could impact it may be the difference between life and death. Make giving a habit and central in your family conversations about missions.
(3) Purchase a "Product With Purpose"
Each day approximately $46 Billion dollars exchanges hands between investors, consumers and producers. While the vast vast majority of the money never sees our bank accounts, the average American spends $101 per day. Money is a necessary method of exchange.....for the things we need everyday. By purchasing intentionally with our money we can not only provide for our own daily needs, but we can use those purchases to impact the world just out of our reach.
Buying "Products with a Purpose" is a simple but effective way to leverage the buying power of our economy. Numerous companies today donate a percentage of their revenue to projects and non profits. By Choosing these products, consumers can impact individuals and communities around the world.
(4) Join and international Outreach Team
When you travel outside of your comfort zone into countries and cultures that are very different from your norm, the experience has a life changing impact on you. Most people come away from these experiences with a new perspective, a view of "what is most important" in life. Joining outreach teams not only directly impacts those you go to serve, but often has as much of an impact on your own internal growth and mindset. International experiences can deposit new ideas and visions into your heart that often act as seeds for future purpose and ministry. Because of our tremendous privilege in the United States, it is important to take the opportunity to step into other cultures and walk in their footsteps to experience a brief moment of their lives. The outcome of such experiences changes who you are and what you stand for, it is not just eye opening but life changing as well. May the Lord break our hearts for the things that break His Heart as we step into the lives of those in need around the world. For more information about international missions email the ministry at firstname.lastname@example.org
(5) Make Missions central in your prayer life, conversations and reading/media consumption
It is often said that what we spend our money on is the best indicator of what is important to us. The reality is that what we spend our time and energy on (not just our finances) indicates how important those things are to ourselves and the vision for our future. When we show someone we love them we spend time and money on them. Our most precious resources are given to those around us. In the economy of Jesus.....everyone is important, so much so, that Christ stepped out of Heaven and laid down his very life for ALL who would believe.
This same pattern is expected of followers of Christ as well. We are to "give of our selves" and enter into the lives of those in need around us. When we practice awareness and fill our time learning, loving and impacting people, our habits and the way in which we use our resources will shift. There are endless resources both online and in print that will help us understand the needs of the world around us and plug us into sustainable projects that impact lives for eternity. The old adage says "put your money where your mouth is"......It is also just as important to put our time there as well. Time is the most precious resource we have yet often the most wasted. Ask the Lord to redeem your time! By doing so you can impact the world around you through prayer and service.
Prayer Teams Focus
Pray God send workers to the harvest field
Ask for continued financial blessing for the Ministry and that the windows of Heaven will continue to be wide open over the needs of the Ministry
Pray that International Missions will become a central focus in the American Church so that the resources God has blessed His Church with will not be wasted
Pray that God will open doors for impact
That the team God has prepared for the Grand Opening of the Rehab Center will be identified and trained to be prepared for serving those in need in Nicaragua